At Gym Jones, we don’t just work your muscles—we also train your brain. No fitness program will truly work if you aren’t teaching your mind to make sacrifices, deal with adversity, and push your body through hard work.
That’s why nearly everything we do at Gym Jones is both a physical and psychological challenge. We want to put you in an uncomfortable position, so you get to the point where your mind tells you to give up. Then we want you to dig deep and push on.
If you can learn to do that, you’ll make real and lasting breakthroughs—because once your mind is strong, the physical part is easy.
The 2,000-Meter Crucible
My favorite way to test—and build—a person’s psychological will is to set a rowing machine for 2,000 meters and have him go for time.
It works as a mind and body challenge because you can’t cheat. The only way to gain an advantage is by pushing harder.
The clock is unbiased and unforgiving. I encourage you to do this test once a month.
The standard: 7 minutes. Seven minutes tells me that you’re not only in good shape, but that you’re also willing to silence your mental demons, go all out, and keep getting better.
Of course, you should try to log the best time possible. We regularly have people finish in the low 6-minute range. (All other things being equal, taller, heavier people generally log faster times than shorter, lighter people.)
When you take this test, you’ll probably think the first 500-meters is relatively easy. But halfway through, your mindset will change.
This is when your wheels begin to fall off, because you’re left alone with your thoughts. I’ve watched numerous people go through this, and it quickly progresses from “I’m not going to make it” to “I’m going to die if I keep going.”
In fact, a good test of whether you’re going hard enough is to ask yourself: Do I want to quit right now? If your answer is no, you aren’t rowing hard enough.
I can tell you this: If you fight to the end, you’ll become something more. The people who succeed are always better for it, and it usually unlocks the door to success in many other areas of their training.
For more ways to transform your mind and body, check out The Better Man Project, the new book from the Editor-in-Chief of Men's Health. It's a jam-packed user's guide to every aspect of a man's life, with more than 2,000 body hacks and fitness, nutrition, health, and sex secrets. All to make you a better man in every way that counts.
This article originally appeared in Men's Health US.